Setup & Timing
Setting up a Single-Card Download game in FIFA Soccer 06 is pretty simple. There is a multiplayer option on the main menu. There is a
Single-Card section within the multiplayer option. It's a little quirky if it is your first time playing the game with the extra setup, but you only
have to do that once. The system picked up the signal quickly - quicker than some other games I've played. Downloading is also split into multiple
parts, which breaks up what could have been a really long wait.
Menus & Navigation
The menus are labeled well and everything's location makes sense. While you are able to tap the fields on the lower screen for navigation, the
fields are really close together and without a buffer zone in between them, so watch where you tap. Also, while any sports game is targeted at fans of
the sport, other gamers tend to pick them up from time to time. Certain play options, such as turning injuries on or off or displaying the score will
be obvious to video gamers in general, explaining terms such as Pitch Type (the condition of the field) and Bookings (having received a red or yellow
card as warning or removal) would be helpful. Maybe a question mark next to terms that players could tap on to bring up a word bubble description
would work without being intrusive. Also, you have to remember that, while going through your game and scenario options, you have to use the "L"
button and "R" button to go from screen to screen. If you forget and hit to the right or left on the direction pad first, you'll change a setting
before you go and not realize you've done it.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
The play control is solid and responsive, but there is a learning curve for how easy the game is to play. This is not a bad thing. If you
could jump into a game with no preparation and master it, there's no challenge and you'd get bored with it quickly. EA and Exient wanted to include as
much as possible in this title, which means there's a lot to take in. Start with a few basic moves and add more later (see the Hints). I played the game a lot, left for a few days, and came back to find out that my
skill had increased.
The visuals in this game have a wide range of designs. The stadiums are beautifully designed, as are the menus, while the players are
pixelated. This is, in fact, NOT a problem for a few reasons. If the players were too well designed on this DS game, not only would there not be
enough room for Single-Card Download, there wouldn't be room for much else. Remember that Nintendo DS chips have a smaller capacity than console
games. Another reason it's not a problem is because it could get a little distracting. You don't really look at the players, you just know where they
are and watch what they do, not in how much detail they are designed. The sound on the game is quiet and unobtrusive. The British accent can be
either annoying or helpful, depending on what your perspective on soccer is. If you think of it as more of a foreign sport, it adds to the game. If
you think of it any other way, you may or may not find it helps or hurts. More annoying than that, though, is hearing the same phrases over and
The sheer quantity of options you can select from is unbelieveable. Not even counting the fact that you can put any player is any position,
the number of game options and scenario options may actually surpass Puyo POP FEVER, but
I'm not going to calculate out the number of possible combinations here like I did there because there are too many condiditional selections (i.e. if
you turn on scenario options and set the Half to Extra Time 1, the score would have to be tied, so you can't set different scores).
Just like any other game, I went into my review for FIFA Soccer 06 with certain preconceptions. I've never been a huge fan of sports games,
though I do enjoy them from time to time. I am personally of the opinion that playing the actual sport is always more fun, assuming you can get enough
people together. I also have never played a soccer video game, or at least not to my recollection. So, what was the result? The first time I played,
I did so with an analytical eye. I was recording what menu options are available and exactly what each button does. It seemed fine. But then, I came
back to it a couple days later to just play. I stuck to using the "A" and "B" buttons and ignored the dozen other controls (I can learn those later
once I feel overconfident about the basic controls). When I came back to the game, it seemed easier the second time. It seemed more responsive the
second time. It seemed significantly more FUN the second time. It was even easier and more natural the third time. Just remember to be patient going
down field and pass the ball from player to player, don't get too frustrated with giving up a goal or two (you can always come back), and don't give up
on the game if you're having difficulty picking it up the first time. Keep playing. FIFA Soccer 06 is more fun than the average sports game, it's
true to its original sport, it's a terrific Nintendo DS sports game, and it's option list for a Single-Card Download sports title is
Single-Card Download. (FIFA Street 2, 2006 FIFA World Cup, and FIFA Soccer 07 do not have Single-Card Download.)
Pop-up bubbles explaining unfamiliar terms and/or exactly what difference an option would make.
The ability to set a difficulty level when playing Co-op and the computer controls one of the teams.
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 85 / 100 (a.k.a. 42.5/50)
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